Excerpts from the Statement by
Permanent Representative of Mongolia
to the United Nations In the General Debate of the First committee
/53rd Session of UNGA, New York, October 1998/
First of all I would like to extend to You my delegation’s warmest congratulations on your well-deserved election to the post of the Chairman of this important Committee and pledge this delegation’s full support and cooperation.
Mongolia’s position on many of the disarmament and international security-related issues has found reflection in the Final document of the XII NAM Summit meeting, held in August-September in Durban, South Africa. Nevertheless, today I would like to make the following 6 points:
One. Improving multilateral disarmament mechanisms. My delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General for his important and timely statement on the pressing issues of disarmament and international security. In this regard it welcomes the re-establishment of the United Nations Department of Disarmament Affairs, which, together with further improvement of the work of this Committee and some other disarmament bodies, is viewed by this delegation as a positive step in strengthening the role of the United Nations in the field of disarmament on the threshold of the new millennium.
Likewise, Mongolia welcomes the establishment in the Conference on Disarmament of the ad hoc committees on nuclear security assurances and on fissile material and other explosive devices as timely steps towards making the long overdue progress in the field nuclear disarmament.
Two. Nuclear disarmament. Despite the above encouraging signs, nevertheless my delegation believes that in reality not much progress has been registered lately in the field nuclear disarmament. Nuclear powers are still yet to embark upon serious nuclear disarmament negotiations as required by article VI of the NPT and upheld by the ICJ in its advisory opinion.
Moreover, the series of nuclear tests conducted a few months ago in South Asia have raised the specter of nuclear weapon proliferation and of igniting a nuclear arms race in the region with the possible far-reaching destabilizing consequences well beyond the region. Mongolia, like many other states, has expressed its deep regret over the tests, urged India and Pakistan to refrain from any further tests and appealed to them to take steps to become parties to the NPT and the CTBT without delay. My delegation would like to take this opportunity to reiterate Mongolia’s support of the latest encouraging declarations of intent by these states to sign the CTBT. In this context my delegation welcomes the declaration by the People’s Republic of China not to resume nuclear tests despite these tests.
My delegation believes that the eight-nation joint declaration of 9 June of this year is timely and is intended, as the distinguished representative of the Republic of South Africa has pointed out earlier, "to put forward a realistic and achievable agenda for the achievement of nuclear disarmament". We believe that the eight-nation initiative deserves serious attention and support.
Three. Formation of new nuclear-weapon-free zones. Among the international efforts aimed at contributing to strengthening nuclear security and enhancing stability, Mongolia attaches great importance to the contributions of non-nuclear states, especially, inter alia, by establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones in various parts of the world. We believe that such zones are important measures in the cause of creating a nuclear-weapon-free world. In this context it welcomes and supports the latest regional effort to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia. The recent consultative expert level meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and especially preliminary exchange of views on the basic elements of the future treaty are encouraging.
It is our hope that this zone in Central Asia would be created before the year 2000, as underlined in the decisions of the 1995 NPT Review Conference. Being a close, if not immediate, neighbor of the Central Asian states, and being one of the active advocates of this proposal, we are happy to see the proposal being materialized. Mongolia is prepared to offer its full cooperation and support in this endeavor.
Four. Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status. If one looks at the geo-physical map of the world, one can see that, for these very geo-physical reasons, some states cannot be part of one or another geo-graphical region. This is the case with Mongolia which does not physically border on any of Central Asian states. However, this cannot serve as a valid reason to exclude such states as Mongolia from common disarmament efforts, including from the efforts to expand the network of nuclear-weapon-free zones. In fact the international community has recognized as far back as in 1975 the right of even individual states to create nuclear-weapon-free zones.
Inspired by the progress in the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones in various parts of the world and guided by the noble aim of turning yet another part of the world, the size of which is larger than Central Europe, into such a zone, Mongolia has in 1992 declared its territory a nuclear-weapon-free zone. This declaration of ours has been well received and even supported by its two immediate neighbors, China and Russia, by the other three nuclear-weapon-states as well as the entire Non-Aligned Movement. The latter has declared in Durban last September that the Movement welcomed and supported Mongolia’s policy to institutionalize its single State nuclear- weapon-free zone status. Mongolia’s contacts with the nuclear-weapon states give us reason to believe that its status could be institutionalized in an appropriate form in the near future, reflecting its geo-political role and balance of interests.
Five. Role of small and medium states. Disarmament and ensuring international security are not the exclusive prerogatives of the big and powerful. The role of small and medium states in the process of disarmament and strengthening international security should not be underestimated. Forming the vast majority of the international community, they are playing, collectively or individually, a more active role in the disarmament and confidence-building processes. The role of the Non-aligned movement and of some regional mechanisms are a vivid proof thereof. In this connection, and in the context of highlighting the role of small states in promoting international security and mutual confidence, I would like to briefly dwell on what my country, Mongolia, is doing at present.
This year Mongolia has published for the first time its defense white paper. It is based on Mongolia’s national security and foreign policy concepts as well as the fundamentals of the country’s military doctrine. The defense white paper states that Mongolia pursues an open and non-aligned policy and that it does not view any country as its enemy. It has refrained from joining any military alliance or grouping. It has also refrained from allowing the use of its territory or air space against any other country, as well as from stationing of foreign troops or weapons, including nuclear or any other weapons of mass destruction, on its territory. Instead, in the past few years it has set up or upgraded a number of seismic monitoring stations on its territory as an important integral part of world-wide network of stations for monitoring the compliance of states with the CTBT. These stations have clearly detected all the South Asian nuclear tests and the data has duly been forwarded to the appropriate international body.
For obvious reasons, Mongolia gives priority to its relations with the immediate neighbors. It pursues a policy of balanced relationship. Maintaining a balanced relationship does not mean, in our case, keeping mechanical equidistance between them or taking identical position on all issues. This policy of ours is meant to strengthen trust and develop all-round good-neighborly relations with both of them, taking due account of their policies in regard to our clearly defined vital national interests.
A policy of non-involvement and neutrality is being pursued in relation to the possible disputes that might arise between the two neighbors. This policy of ours is well understood and well received by our two neighbors, expanding thus the area of confidence and good-neighborliness in this region. It also fully coincides with the Sino-Russian joint declaration that they would not use force or threat of force in any form whatsoever against each other, including using the territory, and the airspace of third countries.
With respect to the United Nations, the defense white paper specifically underlines that Mongolia shall fulfill its UN Charter obligations to support the latter’s activities, when necessary, by way of dispatching observers, offering good offices, mediation and conciliatory services.
This year Mongolia has become a full-fledged dialogue partner of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and it intends to participate more actively in the regional multilateral activities aimed at strengthening peace, security and stability at the regional level. Moreover, together with the UN Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, Mongolia intends to host next summer in Ulaanbaatar an international conference to focus on the pressing disarmament and security-related issues of the region. Bearing in mind the role that the Center is playing in discussing and examining regional disarmament problems and seeing the great potential of the UN Regional Center, my country is in favor of further enhancing the Center’s activities on a solid financial basis.
Six. Special Session on Disarmament. Some progress was registered with respect to the question of convening the fourth Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD-IV) during the last session of the Disarmament Commission. However no consensus has emerged in the Commission on the objectives and agenda of the session, as required by the General Assembly resolution 52/38 F. This is unfortunate. Two decades have passed since SSOD-I was held that adopted truly historic decisions. A decade has elapsed since SSOD-III.
The implementation of SSODs need proper review and appraisal. Moreover, the question of nuclear disarmament is acquiring even greater importance in the wake of the recent nuclear tests in South Asia. Besides, on the threshold of the third millennium the geopolitical contours of the world has been undergoing dramatic changes and transformations that demand adequate collective responses and adjustments. New forms of potential threats are looming with the intensification of scientific and technical progress. One such potential threat has been identified with the developments in the field of information and telecommunication in the context of international security. All these changes and transformations call for the speediest convening of SSOD-IV.
My delegation believes that fixing the concrete date of convening SSOD-IV should be the least that the Assembly should do at this stage so as to allow to proceed immediately to its concrete preparations. Since the session needs to be adequately prepared and since the NPT Review Conference is scheduled be held in the year 2000, it seems logical to focus on year 2001 as the year of convening SSOD-IV and take a decision on this at the present session.